I parachuted out of planes, tried scuba diving, skied on snow and water, rode snowmobiles, sleighs and hay wagons. I lofted into the sky in hot air balloons and helicopters, glided over the snow on dog sleds. I hiked in the wilderness, camped in the mountains, and swam in mountain lakes. I rode a mule down into the Grand Canyon, and flew low over East Texas’ Big Thicket. I fly-fished and sailboarded. I even tried bullriding!
Now in my 60s, I still enjoy adventuring. Not long back I rented a bicycle in Washington DC, to tour around taking pictures of historic statues. I went on a whale watching cruise off the coast of Boston, then trekked along Boston’s famous Freedom Trail history-walk. I flew in a sailplane and went parasailing on a mountain lake. I ventured out on a sunset dinner cruise on a big paddlewheeler. I explored Upstate New York looking for waterfalls, and clambered among the treetops on cables in a zipline adventure. I drove along the East Coast “leaf-peeping” at the fabulous fall colors, and spent a day at a Renaissance Festival. I went to a big motorcycle rally, and spent many exciting hours at the Saratoga Springs thoroughbred horse racing track.
I zoomed to the top of the Empire State Building to look out over New York City, and boated out to Liberty Island to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty.
Too many of us, in our advancing years, come to believe adventure has to be a thing of the past. We’re too old, it’s too dangerous, only rich, active people do those things. But you could make a phone call and be out flying a plane this weekend. You can experience any of a thousand adventures, most of them in or near your home town. Yes, we have to be more careful with our older bodies. But that doesn’t mean the adventure is over.
Senior Adventure Quest is a guided tour of outdoor adventures, FOR seniors BY a senior. Each week, I’ll go out and explore an activity, showing not only what the adventure entails, but carefully explaining what it will take, physically, mentally and financially for someone our age to do it. I’ll delve into some of the hazards for the senior set, and talk about the physical assets we’ll need in order to take part in each adventure.
Not every adventure is for every one of us, but for every one of us there’s an adventure.